Monday, December 1, 2008

Tribute to Carl Sagan

In April 1994 US District Judge Lourdes Baird dismissed Carl Sagan's libel suit against Apple Computer.

Her opinion stated in part:
Plaintiff's libel action is based on the allegation that Defendant (Apple Computer) changed the code name on its personal computer from "Sagan" to "Butt-Head Astronomer" after plaintiff had requested that Defendant cease the use of Plaintiff's name. ... There can be no question that the use of the figurative term "butt-head" negates the impression that Defendant was seriously implying an assertion of fact. It strains reason to conclude that Defendant was attempting to criticize Plaintiff's reputation or competency as an astronomer. One does not seriously attack the expertise of a scientist using the undefined phrase "butt-head". Thus, the figurative language mitigates against implying an assertion of fact.

(Source --- Dr Dobb's Developer Update, Volume 1, Number 10, Dec 1994)


The Friendly Neighborhood Piper said...

don't think you fooled me a bit...i know EXACTLY why you put this article in here...what with words like 'butt' and 'strain' couldn't resist.

Bob said...

Caught me.